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Thursday, January 15, 2015

David Lindholm: The Girl Can't Help it 1956- About a Star Who Doesn't Want it All: Jayne Mansfield Stars


Source: David Lindholm- Edmund O'Brien, Jayne Mansfield & Tom Ewell-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

If you are familiar with Jayne Mansfield in real-life and you are familiar with this movie, you know that Jayne essentially plays herself in this movie. Except for one key factor, Jayne plays a women who doesn’t want to be a star, an entertainer in this movie. The real Jaynes Mansfield only wanted to be a star and move to Hollywood and make it big in the entertainment business as an actress, singer and perhaps even comedian, she could do it all. At least when she was sober, but in this movie she plays someone who essentially just wants to be a good housewife to the man she loves and take care of their children.

Her boyfriend played by Edmund O’Brien has completely different ideas for Jerri Jordan played by Jayne Mansfield. He plays an entertainment mogul who has produced big hits in the past and made a lot of money, but hasn’t produced one lately and is sort of looking for a big comeback. Fats Murdoch played by O’Brien, also has other business connections, including being involved in organized crime and has even done time in prison. Which is one of the reasons why his career in the entertainment business is in, shall we say recession where he hasn’t been active lately.

Murdoch wants to marry Jerri, but the problem is she isn’t known yet and is worried that marrying someone who is unknown and perhaps seen as a nobody could hurt his image. He knows that she is physically a goddess, a hot baby-face and perhaps even baby girl voiced goddess, with an incredible body is a star in waiting and just needs someone to lead her in the right direction and to get noticed. That is where Tom Miller comes in played by Tom Ewell, whose career is also in a bit of a slump. But who is a talented agent and scout who has made entertainers stars in the past, but hasn’t done anything lately.

Murdoch hires Miller to make Jerri Jordan a star. To show her around town and to get people in the entertainment business to see and know her and to lead her to people who can get her in the entertainment business and start a career for herself. The problem is Jerri doesn’t want to be a star and Miller knows that, but also knows that his gangster boss Murdoch won’t be satisfied with that. Miller is scared of Murdoch and doesn’t want to be cut out or eliminated, but doesn’t want to force Jerri to do something that she doesn’t want to do. Murdoch also has other gangsters after him that want him killed. And Miller and Murdoch help each other with each other’s problems.

The Girl Can’t Help it is certainly not a great movie. Very funny, at times sure and pretty entertaining, but Jayne Mansfield like in real-life is so overwhelmingly adorable, hot and sexy in this movie, that she makes the movie worth watching on her own. She’s also very funny in this movie like she is in most of her movies and Edmund O’Brien and Tom Ewell are very good and funny in this movie as well. This movie also features Julie London, who plays one of Miller’s former clients who became a big star, but dumped him after they get involved. So this is a pretty good movie and Jerry Jordan helps Miller get over Julie London who plays herself in the movie.
David Lindholm: The Girl Can't Help It 1956 Trailer